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Narrow 7' trailer width worth pursuing?

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Hello everyone. 

Ive been looking for a narrow camper or enclosed trailer to convert into a boondocking mini toyhauler.    I'm reluctant to buy anything with a laminated wall and prefer a cargo trailer construction.  

Anyway,  after owning and selling a 24x8.5 which was to big to pull up the mountain roads, Ive been set on something in the 16' length but no wider than 7'.

Is this 7' width worth pursuing?   Or is it more the length that prevents people from "Getting Lost"

Thanks!

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It depends what you are pulling with.  Trying to keep the trailer the same width as the tow vehicle could help in certain tight situations.  Typically, though, length is more of a detriment than width when towing in tight areas.  When thinking about the difference between a max width trailer (102"), a typical width trailer (96") and a narrow trailer like you are looking for (84"), the differences are not extreme.  Trying to get a 30' long trailer into the same spot as a 15' long trailer, however can be next to impossible in certain locations.

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Thanks Chad.  

I have some colorado roads in mind I want to re-explore with my truck and trailer instead of the motorcycle, but wouldn't feel comfortable with a trailer wider than the truck on those.   Its not the end of the world if I cant, but my luck as soon as I buy a 8' wide cargo, a narrow track will pop up for sale down the road.  Iv found a few narrow tracks "over the years",  but enclosed trailers sell fast and I couldn't talk any of the owners into holding them for me, or down to a price I could agree to.  Or it had barn doors or the height was wrong.  Always somethin..

Ive noticed some older short 5ers were 7' wide with wheel wells like a 99 trail lite bantam 5th wheel I found.  But I don't think its constructed up to my standards.  A camplite is another story..  But It would be difficult spending that kind of money on something I want to install a ramp door into, or in other words, a big project.

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I just purchased a 2018 Passport 170RK, which is actually under 7' wide, but it has a slide-out to make the interior roomy.  We love it.  I can see behind it with the stock mirrors on the tow vehicle, a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited.  It also has less wind resistance than the full-size rentals we used to tow.  Another rationale is that dragging it down fire roads and trails will be much easier, so we can really get away from people.

 

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9 hours ago, Carlos said:

I just purchased a 2018 Passport 170RK, which is actually under 7' wide, but it has a slide-out to make the interior roomy.  We love it.  I can see behind it with the stock mirrors on the tow vehicle, a 2015 Wrangler Unlimited.  It also has less wind resistance than the full-size rentals we used to tow.  Another rationale is that dragging it down fire roads and trails will be much easier, so we can really get away from people.

 

Thanks Carlos.   That's a neat camper but specs say that the 170RK is 8' wide..

That's the thing with fenders..  For instance, someone buying a 7' wide enclosed may think its narrower than a 8' model, when actually it's the same width because they use the same axle..

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If you're talking about the tire width, I have not measured that.  I thought you were talking about the body, which I assure you is under 7'.  Also it has independent suspension, no axle.  So probably well under 8' "axle" width.

 

 

Edited by Carlos

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2 hours ago, Carlos said:

If you're talking about the tire width, I have not measured that.  I thought you were talking about the body, which I assure you is under 7'.  Also it has independent suspension, no axle.  So probably well under 8' "axle" width.

 

 

No, I'm talking about the total width of your trailer.     If there's two tree's 8' apart, the trailer wont fit through because total width including the fenders/wheels is 8'

Edited by rebar

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Ah, I see.  That's not an issue around here, so it wasn't in my consideration.  What we see a lot on trails is that the branches of the tree, particularly up high, are close to the trail.  Rarely are there two tree trunks by the trail.  As in, I've never seen it.  So body width was what I mostly looked at.  The tires are outside of the body, so they would be the max width.  I have not measured it.

Edited by Carlos

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Because a trailer doesn't track the same as the tv the chances of problems on narrow roads are likely.  If an 8' vehicle  doesn't fit a 7' trailer may not either.  The other problems I have encountered on Colorado trails is clearance.  The best RV I have found is a popup camper for those back country trails but even that has its limitations.  Years ago we built a van into a popup and added 4 wheel drive to get into those tight spots.  Today we just park in relatively easy access areas and use our RZR.  My guess is that a narrower trailer will only access a very limited number of trails.

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1 hour ago, Randyretired said:

Because a trailer doesn't track the same as the tv the chances of problems on narrow roads are likely.  If an 8' vehicle  doesn't fit a 7' trailer may not either.  The other problems I have encountered on Colorado trails is clearance.  The best RV I have found is a popup camper for those back country trails but even that has its limitations.  Years ago we built a van into a popup and added 4 wheel drive to get into those tight spots.  Today we just park in relatively easy access areas and use our RZR.  My guess is that a narrower trailer will only access a very limited number of trails.

Thanks Randy.  Great to hear from someone who has experience traveling to similar locations.   Your comments validate that I need to continue looking for something narrow, as my trucks wheel track is 80".   I just sold a 6bt 5spd E350 btw and bought the truck in my sig mainly because the van wouldn't fit in my garage especially if I converted it to 4x4. 

Anyway, as far as clearance.  I have a ladder and saw.  Seriously,  sounds like I need a poptop enclosed trailer for colorado. because I want to haul all sorts of glamping gear as far in and up as I dare.  But simply getting out of the campgrounds would be enough.

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Depending on where you plan on camping there is a lot of dispersed camping across Colorado.  We almost never stay in camp grounds.  In fact is has been years.  Most of the National Forests and BLM  allow camping within a certain distance of many trails and roads.  Often it is within 300' of the trail or road.  We have an HDT and a 5er and finding remote areas are not difficult.  Each of the Nation Forests have maps to show where dispersed camping is allowed.  These maps are free.  Where are you planning to go?

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9 hours ago, Randyretired said:

Depending on where you plan on camping there is a lot of dispersed camping across Colorado.  We almost never stay in camp grounds.  In fact is has been years.  Most of the National Forests and BLM  allow camping within a certain distance of many trails and roads.  Often it is within 300' of the trail or road.  We have an HDT and a 5er and finding remote areas are not difficult.  Each of the Nation Forests have maps to show where dispersed camping is allowed.  These maps are free.  Where are you planning to go?

Ive visited colorado plenty of times, but the last three were with my 24' featherlite toyhauler towed by my old 1wd cummins E350. First time solo and stayed at pitkin campground the entire week.  I kept scouting for better camp spots up cumberland and will use it as a benchmark goal road because I was wanting to tow the featherlite to the top lol as that was one of the few turn around spots for a  50' rig. Looked doable from google maps lol.          Second time I ended up at almont cg and then a few nights at lottis creek cg.  Last time was at clearcreek res cg. which is when I decided to sell and replace my rig after a mariachi band played next door one night.  I'd visit again but was thinking about checking out mancos state park idk..  Problem is, I should have held onto the big featherlite because I have yet to find a trailer I feel could replace it and my new truck is 4wd.  I take that back..  There have been a few narrow track enclosed trailers I found on CL, but couldn't talk the owner into holding them while I traveled or couldn't agree on price before I traveled.  There was a closer one in des moines a couple hours away that sold hours after I questioned a hole in the roof.. So Ive let a few slip through my fingers, but now after reading your comment about clearance being on of your major hurdles, Im second guessing my decision to buy a cargo trailer tall enough to stand in.. 

Edited by rebar

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I got curious and measured it, the tire width is exactly 8' and the body width is 77".  The tow vehicle has a tire width of 82".  We'll be heading out shortly to try it out on a light local trail.  It's not like we'll be rock crawling with the thing.  Our objective is to just be able to get a little farther out than the average camper with a heavy truck and wide trailer, then set out from there in the Jeep or mountain bikes.  We're just not interested in camping in the usual areas that "everyone" goes to.  Sometimes you might like the people, sometimes they are complete a-holes.

 

 

Edited by Carlos

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On 1/17/2019 at 6:49 AM, rebar said:

Hello everyone. 

Ive been looking for a narrow camper or enclosed trailer to convert into a boondocking mini toyhauler.    I'm reluctant to buy anything with a laminated wall and prefer a cargo trailer construction.  

Anyway,  after owning and selling a 24x8.5 which was to big to pull up the mountain roads, Ive been set on something in the 16' length but no wider than 7'.

Is this 7' width worth pursuing?   Or is it more the length that prevents people from "Getting Lost"

Thanks!

Have you considered a horse trailer.  They are much stronger than a tt or a cargo trailer, you can walk all over the roof and put stuff up there, and they have a ramp already. Get a extra wide 4 horse, thoroughbred or draft size.

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maybe one of the very short air-stream trailers? but 8 foot wide.

the wheel base is what matters more for turning.

rear over hang will hook up in a gully.

getting high centered will get you for a long wheel based trailer or rig.

but ground clearance can help there, do a12 inch  lift on the rv. but now a tip over problem?

most of the narrow trailers i have seen, still have the fenders out to the 8 foot mark, (far more stable going down the rd). then there are the cheap flat beds for sale in front of the big box hardware stores, they are less than 8 feet wide.

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11 hours ago, packnrat said:

maybe one of the very short air-stream trailers? but 8 foot wide.

the wheel base is what matters more for turning.

rear over hang will hook up in a gully.

getting high centered will get you for a long wheel based trailer or rig.

but ground clearance can help there, do a12 inch  lift on the rv. but now a tip over problem?

most of the narrow trailers i have seen, still have the fenders out to the 8 foot mark, (far more stable going down the rd). then there are the cheap flat beds for sale in front of the big box hardware stores, they are less than 8 feet wide.

Most of the shorter airstreams werent 8' wide but I cant remember how wide, maybe 7.5' ?  But I need a ramp door.

As far as a horse trailer,  its not a bad idea but converting it, or swapping narrow track axles in would be a project requiring extensive modifications. Most horse trailers were less than 7' wide. 

But if I could find a worthwhile trailer under $2k, I would consider it mainly because of the roof.

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On 2/26/2019 at 5:09 AM, ogaddcb said:

A little over the top and way to long for me but check this link to converted horse trailer

 

Wow.  Yeah with a vision and money anything is possible..

I called Jensen Trailers here in Iowa and Walter said they have no problem building exactly what I want.

7x16 narrow track with 7' ceiling, single axle extended tongue V nose with RV door/screen and two RV windows for $9750.

Very tempting, since I'm only 3 hours away and can specify everything.. Like no silicone, special joist spacing for tanks etc etc

Edited by rebar

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How about a 6'7" overall width, 19 foot long 5th wheel? https://www.scampowners.com/new-19-deluxe-scamp-travel-trailer-specifications-floor-plans

I'm about to sell mine. It can easily be towed with any half ton truck. Just a thought since you didn't say what your TV is. Mine's $11,600.00 with hitch. Very nice shape inside and out. No mods needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RV_

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13 hours ago, RV_ said:

How about a 6'7" overall width, 19 foot long 5th wheel? https://www.scampowners.com/new-19-deluxe-scamp-travel-trailer-specifications-floor-plans

I'm about to sell mine. It can easily be towed with any half ton truck. Just a thought since you didn't say what your TV is. Mine's $11,600.00 with hitch. Very nice shape inside and out. No mods needed.

 

Quote

 

If the scamp had a ramp door, I'd consider it.. 

Ive also looked at camplite campers since they are 7' wide with no fenders which could be modified into a toyhauler.. But most of them have rear bathrooms in the way..

Forest river just release the no-bo 19.1 toyhauler which is 7' wide..  But its a bit longer than I want and laminated walls..

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by rebar

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I can't get those horse trailers converted to look like Victorian railcars out of my head. I could not live with the Victorian cluttered look but think what else you could do in a trailer with that weight capacity!

Linda

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On 3/8/2019 at 4:01 PM, sandsys said:

I can't get those horse trailers converted to look like Victorian railcars out of my head. I could not live with the Victorian cluttered look but think what else you could do in a trailer with that weight capacity!

Linda

I talked to pace setter who was going to make my narrow track live stock trailer.  But using angle iron for most of the trailer leaves no space for tanks under it.  Tom was very helpful until I asked if the ramp door could be raised 6" for a raised floor, or space for tanks etc..

Since then I found Jensen trailers, but I haven't heard anything after I asked about how much space between the frame rails for the tanks.  This is how it goes when you ask to many questions I guess.

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5 hours ago, rebar said:

I talked to pace setter who was going to make my narrow track live stock trailer.  But using angle iron for most of the trailer leaves no space for tanks under it.  Tom was very helpful until I asked if the ramp door could be raised 6" for a raised floor, or space for tanks etc..

Since then I found Jensen trailers, but I haven't heard anything after I asked about how much space between the frame rails for the tanks.  This is how it goes when you ask to many questions I guess.

Do you need the ramp? If not, raise the floor and install steps to a regular door.

Linda

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10 hours ago, sandsys said:

Do you need the ramp? If not, raise the floor and install steps to a regular door.

Linda

Yes I need the ramp.. 

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